The Most Unusual Insurance Claims Of All Time
09 January 2018
You mightn't expect insurance would be a terribly interesting business but in fact the opposite is true, particularly when it comes to some if the outrageous claims made over the years!
From the weird to the wonderful and everything in between, it's likely that everyone who's ever worked in insurance will have at least one story that falls squarely into the 'you just couldn't make this stuff up' category.
Here's our list of some of the strangest, most bizarre and most unusual insurance claims of all time that prove the truth is very definitely stranger than fiction.
Using Shampoo As Fuel
Misfuelling, where you accidentally put petrol in a diesel car or vice versa, is pretty embarrassing but it's also extremely common - it's estimated that people in the UK put the wrong fuel in their car once every three minutes!
Filling your car up with shampoo, we'd imagine, happens much less often. But that didn't stop one woman from filing a claim with her insurance provider back in 2010 after accidentally tipping a bottle of it into her fuel tank while washing her car.
A Hot Wheels Hot Mess
One would-be hustler attempted to commit insurance fraud by claiming that thieves had stolen parts off his car, but his scheme turned out to be much better in theory than it was in execution.
As 'proof', he sent a string of fake invoices to his insurance company, but his amateurish attempt at swindling his insurer was well and truly busted when he submitted pictures of a broken Hot Wheels model of his car when asked for images of the damage done to his vehicle!
Hammer And Hail...
In some parts of the world, hail damage is a very serious problem. Large chunks of ice falling from the sky can smash windows, dent cars and in some extreme cases even kill farmers' livestock.
However, when inspectors went to assess the damage done to the vehicle of one Kentucky resident they quickly realised the marks were more likely to have been caused by a claw hammer than by hail. The claimant withdrew his claim, but then submitted a separate one a week later declaring than someone else had attacked his car!
An Explosive Display
Not every crazy claim is attempted fraud, however: some are just the result of good old fashioned, honest-to-god stupidity. One such claim was made in the US on 4th July, by a customer who'd packed his truck bed full of several thousand dollars' worth of fireworks.
The idea was to set up an impressive firework display in a nearby field, but after carelessly tossing a cigarette butt out the driver's side window, his plans literally went up in smoke. Luckily nobody was hurt but the truck was a write off!
Water heaters don't tend to be the most mobile of appliances, but by botching a repair job on his plumbing one unlucky homeowner inadvertently turned his into a homemade missile.
A build-up of pressure caused the heater to explode and rocket its way throughout the claimant's home before smashing its way out of the house and careening into a number of cars parked on the street outside.
It pays to be prepared, so they say, but generally the idea of insurance is that you buy it before you need it. For example, if your uninsured car caught fire you wouldn't try to get insurance for it right then and there, would you?
Well - yeah, you've guessed it - that's exactly what happened to one couple who tried to panic-purchase an insurance policy while their car was literally burning in their driveway. Apparently, while the husband tried to sort things out over the phone, his wife could be heard screaming about explosions in the background!
One driver claimed for damage caused to her car's engine, allegedly as a result of a lorry splashing water from a puddle into it. However, the next day a newspaper published pictures of her car being driven through floodwater by a mysterious man.
As it turns out, the man was her secret boyfriend who was uninsured on the car. Not only did her insurance provider reject her claim, she was left with a hefty repair bill and the awkward task of explaining to her husband who the guy driving their car was...